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Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones

The most common ecological response to climate change is the shifts in species distribution ranges. Nevertheless, landscape fragmentation compromises the ability of limited dispersal species to move following these climate changes. Building connected environments that enable species to track climate changes is an ultimate goal for biodiversity conservation. An experiment was conducted to determine if electric power transmission lines could be transformed in a continental network of biodiversity reserves for small animals. The study analysed if the management of the habitat located inside the base of the transmission electric towers (providing refuge and planting seedlings of native shrub) allowed to increase local richness of target species (i.e., small mammals and some invertebrates' groups). The results confirmed that by modifying the base of the electric transmission towers density and diversity of several species of invertebrates and small mammals increased as well as number of birds and bird species, increasing local biodiversity. The study suggests that modifying the base of the electric towers would potentially facilitate the connection of fragmented populations. This idea would be easily applicable in any transmission line network anywhere around the world, making it possible for the first time to build up continental scale networks of connectivity. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Ferrer et al (2020) Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones? Diversity 12(11): 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110439

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https://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/12/11/439
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The role of disease and parasite infections in protected populations of rhinoceros

The role of disease and parasite infections in protected populations of rhinoceros

A huge effort in rhinoceros conservation has focused on poaching and habitat loss as factors leading to the dramatic declines in the endangered eastern black rhinoceros and the southern white rhinoceros. Nevertheless, the role disease and parasite infections play in the mortality of protected populations has largely received limited attention. Infections with piroplasmosis caused by Babesia bicornis and Theileria bicornis has been shown to be fatal especially in small and isolated populations in Tanzania and South Africa. However, the occurrence and epidemiology of these parasites in Kenyan rhinoceros is not known. The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence in Kenyan populations, and to assess the association of Babesia and Theileria infection with host species, age, sex, location, season and population mix. In the rhinoceros studied, we did not detect the presence of Babesia, while Theileria was found to have a 49.12% prevalence with white rhinoceros. Other factors such as age, sex, location, and population mix were not found to play a significant role. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es Otiende et al (2015) Epidemiology of Theileria bicornis among black and white rhinoceros metapopulation in Kenya. BMC Vet Res 2015, 11:4  doi:10.1186/s12917-014-0316-2


http://www.biomedcentral.com/1746-6148/11/4